While Canada is well-known for its thriving indie rock and electronic scenes, with acts as diverse as Grimes and God Speed You Black Emperor, the country is seldom thought of as a Latin music hotbed. But Toronto hosts many thriving immigrant communities — including one of the largest Cuban expat communities in North America — and the Battle of Santiago is strongly rooted in the city’s wealth of Cuban musical talent.
Founded in 2011, The Battle of Santiago has been marked by this restless, transnational experimentalism since the beginning. The group has evolved from an exploration of experimental rock grounded in drummer-less Latin percussion, to an instrumental groove machine, to the tight Afro-Cuban post-rock outfit that it is today.
That evolution can be heard on the band’s two full-length albums, 2012’s Full Colour and 2013’s Followed by Thousands. Now, with the addition of vocals, the Battle of Santiago is breaking new ground for the band with their newest full length release La Migra.